According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for web developers will rise by 13% by 2028. Similar trends are surfacing all around the world as businesses transition into the digital sphere. With broadly similar products and services, companies may be neck and neck on a level playing field.
So what sets them apart?
Interestingly, a cursory glance spanning a mere 50 milliseconds could seal the fate of a business. It all boils down to the customer’s brand perception and experience that will influence their decision on whether they purchase from you or otherwise.
Front-end developers play a crucial role in orchestrating this visitor’s experience through client-side design considerations. A professional front-end developer bridges the company vision with the client’s expectations. The result of this harmony? An improved bottom line.
10 Common Mistakes Every Professional Front-End Developer Must Avoid
As a front-end developer, you need to work hard and work smart. While you may have mastered the former, the latter is about knowing the common mistakes and avoiding them. To make your quest easier, avoid the following mistakes to emerge as a thoroughly professional front-end developer
Forgetting to Optimize Images
Typically, prototype development and testing take place over a local network. So all web components and background media will “download” without a hitch. However, it may result in bandwidth usage oversight, which will adversely affect your website download time.
For example, consider that your website has five images of 4MB each. Loading 20MB of images on a 1GBps speed may not seem like a huge bandwidth requirement for a developer. However, in case of a user accessing the internet over a 3G connection, the same 20MB of data may seem like a lot!
Therefore, a professional front-end developer must check the size of the images and optimize them in a manner that works best for most connections.
Following Outdated HTML Practices
What you may think to be a tried and tested technique for HTML coding could be an outdated and ineffective practice that is resulting in complicated markups causing unpredictable behavior across browsers. Consider upgrading your skills to adhere to the latest HTML5 standards. For instance, switch the floating layout for a grid and flexbox.
A professional front-end developer puts in the effort to stay up to date on the latest HTML standards and practices. A few best practices while working with HTML include:
- Modularizing code for improved readability and improved debugging abilities
- Avoiding inline styles and scripts
- Using a single H1 per page and adding ALT Text, tags, and other attributes
- Validating HTML codes by running the site URL through a validator
- Creating a markup hierarchy to use semantic HTML
Not Testing for Compatibility With Other Browsers
Your site’s browsing analytics data could share valuable insights on the browsers that are most suited for your website. Accordingly, you can design and develop the front-end experience according to the targeted browser.
However, you must not discount the other browsers as it could result in missed opportunities and poor performance.
Currently, most browsers are standard-based, and chances of compatibility issues are slim. However, different browsers tend to render pages using different protocols, which leaves a marginal room for error. Hence, test your code for cross-browser compatibility while and after developing your code.
Lack of Input Validation
As a professional front-end developer, validating user inputs is an absolute must! Front-end developers must work with the assumption that the entered values can (and most likely will) be wrong.
Entering incorrect values or data could result in the website responding erratically due to data incompatibility with the input and the underlying data scheme. To overcome this issue, create elaborate forms that explicitly ask for specific data. Follow it up by conducting validation on the browser and server sides.
Producing Meaningless, Bloated, or High-Refresh Pages
About 75% of users form an opinion on a company’s credibility based on the website experience and design. Hence, if your website contains public-facing pages with meaningless content that fails to add value to the reader, it will result in disengagement and high bounce rates. Similarly, pages that call for full refreshes for each interaction or display highly-compressed graphics will dilute the website performance. Eventually, your web page will lack the flow and fluidity, which will mar the overall experience and subsequent credibility.
Not Implementing Responsive Designs
Responsiveness relates to designing a web page layout so visitors can navigate and read the content with minimum scrolling and resizing. Considering that 77% of agencies struggle with design responsiveness issues, a professional front-end developer must test the websites for large and small screens alike. Consider incorporating responsive design elements in your front-end as it can help your website adapt to varying aspect ratios.
Ignoring Load Times
In the world of instant gratification, making your visitors wait for the site to load is a cardinal sin!
If you think that’s not that big a deal, consider this: Retailers lose about $2.6 billion in sales due to slow-loading websites! If you are still not convinced, consider the fact that 39% of internet users will stop engaging with websites if it takes too long to load.
Ignoring site speed could affect your bounce rate, conversion rate, and overall user satisfaction. Therefore, optimize your entire website along with the images and design elements. Then, test the site speed to identify the culprits behind the delayed response.
Relying Heavily on JS Frameworks & Libraries
Missing Out on SEO and Scalability
Businesses often postpone search engine optimization (SEO) for a later date and sometimes skip it completely. What’s worse is when poorly trained or misinformed SEO “specialists” take apart a website and make changes to it.
SEO is a lot more than stuffing keywords, adding alt tags, and writing meta descriptions. Hence, front-end developers must account for SEO right from its initial development stage. Similarly, professional front-end developers should also consider website scalability right from the start.
Not Optimizing for Mobile Devices
85% of internet users believe that a company’s mobile website should be as good as (if not better than) their desktop website. This trend highlights how users are leaning towards mobile devices to surf the web, make purchases, and get online.
Interestingly, 57% of users will not recommend businesses that are not optimized for mobile visibility or have a poorly designed mobile site. These figures can substantiate how crucial it is to optimize websites for mobile devices and how a professional front-end developer must not skip it at any cost.
First impressions are everything, and a whopping 94% of first impressions are design-related. In essence, your web design and layout could make or break a deal.
So having a professional front-end developer can help your website stand apart from the competition. Avoid the mistakes cited above to develop a memorable front-end experience.